Sunday, April 21, 2013

Popsicle Pronouns

I've worked on pronouns with some of my students for most of the school year.  Some of them have done a great job and are using and understanding pronouns.  However, some of my students, notably the ones on the autism spectrum, can tell me that she goes with girls and he with boys and replace words in sentences, but can't identify what pronouns mean when they find them.  I do as picture book lesson, come across a pronoun, and they can't figure out who it is referring to.  This activity is designed to start bridging the gap between knowing about pronouns and applying that knowledge.

I picked popsicles to have a fun summer theme, but am feeling dismayed by the 7 inches of snow we got on Friday...  Happy April in Minnesota.  So fun summer theme for those of you who are there, and lots of wistful thinking for those of us who aren't. 

Subjective, Obective and Possessive Pronouns are all included.
Subjective: He, She, They, We, It, I, You
Objective:  Her, Him, Them, It, Us, Me, You
Possessive: His, Her, Hers, Its, Theirs, Their, Our, Ours, Yours, Your, Mine, My

Check it out in my TPT store!

Cue Cards for switching pronouns and nouns are included.

The cover sheet for each unit has an optional "cover card" for your card decks to make organization and finding things later much easier.  The types of pronouns are also color coded for easy sorting for when they get mixed up. (We all know it's going to happen at some point!)
There are 7 sentences and questions for each pronoun, and a game card on each sheet.

Grab it over on TPT!

The winner has been picked!  Looking for Carly who left the comment: I love this idea! Pronouns seem to be a challenge for my students right now and this looks like it has an approach that may help!  Email me at or message me on facebook!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Spot It

In my portable games post, I mentioned that Spot It was in my Amazon cart.  Well it's here and I'm loving it.  I bought both the standard version and the junior version. I've been doing lite therapy sessions for my older students since state testing started this week and I want to continue routines but not add stress.  (in a related story, due to missed sessions for testing, as of this moment I'm caught up on MA billing and am feeling very accomplished (and starting to search for other signs of the apocalypse).

I played the standard version with a mixed R and S articulation group.  I varied game rules a little presented two cards to the group of 3 students.  The first person to spot the similarity gets a point, and then I picked a student or two to practice a word with their speech sounds in it.  We didn't have a single turn where there wasn't an S or and R involved.  There are also plenty of L sounds for those kids too!  I love the variety of pictures and it's always a bonus to be able to use the same materials in my mixed artic groups.  It was a really fun session where I get kids practice their sounds and they feel like they are just playing a game.   They also got points, and no matter how arbitrary, we all know that points are VERY SERIOUS BUSINESS and much loved.

I did the junior version with my DCD second and third graders, and as a game reward for one of my lower LD groups.  They worked on finding the differences (the concepts same/different), labeling the animals (we didn't have them all), and big/small (also bigger/smaller) since the item sizes vary so much.  With these kids we took turns finding the difference, since one was able to find it right away, and the other was either taking more time or being his contrary self... (Either way he had to do the work.)  I see myself adding over and under to our concepts when using this in the future.

Spot It is a super fun and easy activity.  I highly recommend these if you don't already have them.  As a bonus, they meet the criteria for small and portable and if you travel it will be a great lightweight addition to your bag.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Games, Games, Games

This is the first year I've not had to travel from one school to another.  As a result, many of my favorite games are small and portable.  I thought I'd post about some of my favorites since I know many of you are still traveling and and need to consider weight limits!

Lunch box games by Fundex are loads of fun.  They have simple rules, and typical turns go quickly because they don't involve strategic thinking.  The games are stored in small tins, but most are comprised of a card deck that can be removed from the tin and made smaller, or the plastic bit can be removed from the tin and multiple things can be on the same tin.
There are more lunchbox games than these, but this is what I have.  My students love playing these.
You can easily remove the plastic and have a standard card deck to play and travel with.
Next up is a Cranium Bingo game - Bingo Bunch.  I have 2 complete sets that fit into a sandwich sized plastic baggie.  The game itself is great as a reinforcer for students since they can turn over bingo cards on their turns, and other students turns if they are paying attention/being respectful.  In a 25 minute therapy session, we usually play for blackout.  Additionally, it can be used to compare and contrast the difference kinds of people.
Bingo cards are arranged in a 4x4 grid and turned over when gotten.  This way you don't have to manage locations of bingo chips.

One thing I caution with this game is that you might want to shellac the dice since the little faces and bodies have a tendency to wear off over time.  If you have fidgety kids who like to rub and handle the dice, you'll want to confiscate them after each turn.  
If students roll a star on the dice then they just have to match either the head or the body.

The dice are a great way to call bingo points - I don't do a lot of bingo because it can be difficult to manage calling.  This is a great way to do it, and that way my kids get to play a game they love.

The last game is a new thrift store find, Feed the Kitty.  Once you have the game, you can fit the bowl, mice and dice into a baggie and leave the box behind.  Kids get 6-8 mice to start with and the point of the game is to get rid of them.  They roll two dice on their turns and then determine if they put one in the food bowl, take one out, do nothing or give one the the person on their left.  I've used it to reinforce Left and Right with some students, and you can easily switch the left rule, to pass right for different sessions.

The bowl can hold all the mice and the dice.  It's about 1/2 the size of the inside of the box.
Some of my students don't like the idea of feeding mice to the cat, and others do it gleefully, so some groups have mice and others have mouse-shaped cat treats.

Spot It is on it's way to me from Amazon right now and I've played it before so I know it's a great portable game.  There are lots of educational variations of that game too!

What are your favorite traveling games?

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Oops! A book for Cause and Effect

I haven't been posting very much lately.  Before my spring break last week, I attended a training on inclusion and have been rolling many ideas around in my head about how I want to structure things in my speech room in the future, and in particular how to focus on vocabulary.  Vocabulary can be paralyzing in many ways.  What words do I work on?  How do I choose my words?  How do I write measurable goals for my students?  I've come to the conclusion that anything is better than nothing, and as we know, planned vocabulary teaching is much better than anything we do on the fly so I need to do some good, vocabulary units that go beyond describing and comparing in the future.  I've got stacks of things on my desk at work and my kitchen table, and the ears of the teacher coach, literacy coaches.  Now I have to figure out where to go from here.  Thematic units?  Focus higher level sight words?  Focus on Tier II words?

What are your vocabulary needs?

Now!  On to a therapy idea for today, or in my case the last few weeks.

I very often use books in therapy with my students.  I find that I can work on many, many skills with picture books, and I thought I'd share one of my favorites for cause and effect with you all!  I'd recommend it with kids in grades 4, 5, 6, and 7.  Younger kids may enjoy the pictures and parts of the story, but can struggle with some of the vocabulary involved. (and there is that word again!)

Oops by Jean-Luc Fromental is available on Amazon.
The entire book is a series of events precipitated by someone losing a bar of soap, that prevent a family from reaching the airport in time to go on vacation.  The bar of soap starts it all and each subsequent even is caused by the previous one.  My students have loved the graphic style of the illustrator (my 6th graders who did the book with with this week discussed the difference between author and illustrator so much that I think they finally have the difference down).  I really like in the story how each effect because the next cause and we can discuss how things can be both causes and effects. 

The book takes place in France (I'm picturing Paris in my head as I read it) and is a great way to expand your students minds about international things and people in different countries.  I'm at an International Baccalaureate World School so anytime we can discuss the different parts of the world is a great bonus.

At the end of the book there is a long description of causes and effects throughout the entire book.  If you get the book, I recommend reading this a few times before doing the book in therapy since not all causes and effects are super-clear in the story and pictures.  I think for future years, I'm going to shell out for a color copy so we can follow along with the page before reading the book.

What are your vocabulary needs?
What are your favorite picture books to teach?

Also, 20% off all items in my TPT store tomorrow and Monday and many other SLP sellers are having sales, so it's a great time to clear out your wish lists and stock up on some great products!